Last Updated on October 23, 2020 by The Health Master
KOCHI: More worrying details about the growing nexus between Nigerian drug traffickers and local youth are coming out in the open, with the arrest of 12 more youngsters on Thursday in a major operation conducted by a special team.
The police team is also verifying the details of four more youths who are on the run after the operation was launched to hunt agents of the drug racket that sourced synthetic drugs like MDMA and LSD from Nigerians operating from Goa and Bengaluru, for distribution in Kochi and its suburbs, mainly Perumbavoor, Kothamangalam and Aluva.
It was following the arrest of a Nigerian national, Amamchukwu Okake, 31, from Bengaluru that the city police could collect more information about the racket which has been operating in the city for some time.
“We are verifying certain details about the youths in custody. Their arrest will be recorded soon. We have identified a few bank accounts through which funds were transferred for drug trafficking,” said Inspector of police A Ananthalal, who is leading the team.
He said the details collected so far reveal the involvement of more youngsters in the racket. A detailed questioning of the arrested Nigerian will be conducted again if necessary.Police could bust the racket and track involvement of the Nigerian after 19gm of MDMA worth `1 lakh was seized and three youths – Aluva residents Yasim, Muhammad Shahad and Muhammad Riyas – were arrested from a rented house at Edapally here.
The three youths were in direct contact with the Nigerian supplier and used to frequently travel to Bengaluru to bring the contraband. The police officers said Malayali youths settled in Bengaluru were acting as the contact point for new members to join the network with Nigerian suppliers.
As per a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) data, 97 African nationals were arrested from south Indian states between January 2014 and June 2017. The most arrests were made from Goa (55), followed by Karnataka (20) and Tamil Nadu (10). In Kerala and Andhra, six Africans each were arrested. In December 2016, Kochi police busted a drug racketwhen two Nigerians were arrested from a flat near Kaloor.